The Department for Education (DfE) has
released figures on children’s development and school readiness,
showing evidence of improvement, but an attainment gap that needs
Figures show that 60 per cent of early years
children are achieving a good level of development, up eight per
cent from 52 per cent in 2013.
The overall 60 per cent of children
aged 5 are making good progress against the Early Years
Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP). However, the gap between those
from the most disadvantaged areas and their peers has remained
static at 12 per cent.
PACEY today welcomes evidence of improvement in early years
development rates, but warns much more needs to be done to raise
this further and close attainment gap.
Commenting on the findings, Liz Bayram,
PACEY's Chief Executive, said, "All children, especially our most
disadvantaged young children, deserve high-quality, playful early
learning and PACEY welcomes the Minister's recognition that early
learning happens whilst children are having fun.
"We also welcome his acknowledgment that
helping young children to develop essential social and emotional
skills such as talking, listening to and playing with others is as
important as understanding letters and numbers. Childcare
professionals share his goal that more needs to be done to close
the attainment gap for disadvantaged children.
"Year on year, Ofsted grades demonstrate the
sector's capacity to continuously improve. We are looking forward
to working with the DfE and other sector organisations to ensure
all providers are supported to further improve. In particular,
PACEY is keen to help set out how the 2-year-old offer and Early
Years Pupil Premium can support settings to invest more in quality
improvement, so all their practitioners are supported to focus on
helping children reach their full potential."
The figures also indicate that in 110 local
authorities the achievement gap has narrowed, but in the
remaining 42 it has widened.
Liz adds, "It is good to see that in 110 local
authorities, the achievement gap has narrowed, but it is of concern
that in the remaining 42 it has widened. Local authorities have a
key role to play in sharing good practice and providing support to
settings that need to improve. More must be done to ensure more
local authorities are prioritising early years and learning from
their neighbouring authorities."